We are a family who loves to try out new restaurants every once in a while. The restaurant may be a ‘hole in a wall’ / fast food / mid-range / classy restaurant, it doesn’t matter as long as we have the budget for it.
Last April 2011, there was a week wherein we were addicted to trying out Korean Restaurants within our area. A friend of mine suggested that we try out JEON WON located in Don Antonio because they offer unlimited servings of their side dishes plus the taste is “Authentic Korean.”
The ambiance of the restaurant is not at all Korean. They had separate nipa huts with electric fans --- the ones you see in Tagaytay bulalohan restos. But seeing that the owner is Korean and had an apron on, led me to think twice and care more about the “taste of the food” than the ambiance of the resto.
During our visit, there were 3 other huts occupied by Korean customers and they say that you can gauge a restaurant’s authenticity by looking at its customers. A Korean restaurant with a lot of Korean customers says a lot about the restaurants authenticity. In addition, their menu is in Korean as well (no English translation as to what it is) so this is also a sign that this restaurant is being frequent by Korean customers.
We went there in the afternoon for “merienda” so we just ordered the ff:
- Samgyupsall 400g/2persons for Php 500
- Japchae for Php 400
These 2 orders is already enough for 4 persons due to the unlimited servings of their side dishes. They served us a total of 6 different kinds of side dishes. I didn’t try most of them as they were spicy but the ones I tried were really good. You could say that the side dishes were really made from scratch and not bought from the grocery / in cans. They also served us 2 glasses of pineapple shakes per person FOR FREE. The pineapple shake is a great technique to lessen the spicy taste of the food.
According to Wikipedia, Samgyeopsal is a popular Korean dish, commonly served as an evening meal. It consists of thick, fatty slices of pork belly meat (similar to uncured bacon). The meat, usually not marinated nor seasoned, is cooked on a grill at the diners' table. Usually diners grill the meat themselves and eat directly from a grill.
(taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samgyeopsal)
As soon as our orders arrived, the waiter set up the grill and cooked the meat in our nipa hut. Notice that the meat contains a lot of fat, thus cooking oil is not needed anymore.
The right way to eat this dish is to put the meat and sauce/s in the leaf and eat it whole. According to my friend, it is believed to be disrespectful if you didn’t put the whole leaf with meat in your mouth so better to just prepare something which you know you can eat, chew and swallow whole.
The meat was cooked just right and was easy to chew. It didn’t contain any seasoning or marinade so you could really taste the meat as it is. They also provided us with 2 sauces to put in our Samgyeopsal. I think it’s a better way instead of them marinating the meat so that customers will able to choose how much they would want to put in the meat. Some Filipinos prefer to put rice in their Samgyeopsal but the Korean way of eating it is without rice. :)
On the other hand, the Jabchae is simply delicious. I love sweet-tasting food thus Jabchae is really good for me :) It is almost the same as the pansit which is a Filipino food, but Jabchae has a sweeter taste. The noodles of the Jabchae is also thicker and stickier compared to sotanghon (noodles which is being used for the pansit)
Overall, the taste of the food in JEON WON was just right. The price of the food on the other hand was quite expensive. I wouldn't mind trying out this resto again, provided that I'm suuuper hungry so I would be able to compensate the price of the food by ordering a lot of their side dishes. ^_^